Saturday, September 12, 2009

Last set of pictures of the Buddhist temple, Houston

I have been posting the pictures of the spectacular Viet Namese Buddhist temple in Sugarland, Texas, one of the suburbs of Houston. The temple is so vast and has so many interesting sights that it is difficult to post all the pictures at one go. Anyway here is the last set of pictures shot in the sprawling temple complex which features expansive green lawns, artistic buildings, water bodies and parking lots.

Another Bell Tower

A large building in the temple, the library or discourse room I suppose

Rear view of the temple with fountain and sculptures

Sculpture of Buddha under the Bodhi tree in the shrine's Bonsai garden

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Viet Namese Buddhist Temple, Houston - More Pictures

Yesterday I blogged about our last week's visit to Houston and the accidental discovery of the grand Viet Namese Buddhist temple. Due to paucity of time I couldn't upload all the pictures I wanted to in the blot post. This grand Buddhist shrine evokes awe and intrigue at the same time. There are several areas of the temple which would make any Hindu/ Buddhist feel proud. For instance the presence of the Ashoka Pillars crowned by Lions right at the entrance, a massive building known as "Dharma Hall", the verdant green acres around the shrines, the numerous images of Buddha installed amidst gardens and lawns, et al. I hope I could visit this temple again when I visit Houston and take in the beauty and spiritual vibrations. Here are more views of the temple.

The Bell Tower in the center of the shrine compound

Buddha idol in the garden contiguous to the shrine

Bridge across a water body to view the Buddha idol

Water body and the idols inside and outside it

Another religious symbol in the water body

Long shot of the Buddha statue

NB: More pictures to come shortly.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Viet Namese Buddhist Temple, Houston

Ashoka Chakra right at the entrance of the temple

Last weekend we had been to Houston to participate in the wonderful Krishna Janmashtami celebrations organized by the Hindus of Greater Houston. The day after the event we hung around in Houston to visit couple of friends and take in the Hindu sights of the city. We have seen everything there is to see in this city last year the museum of modern art, Downtown Aquarium, zoo, water wall, NASA space center, George Ranch and others. That is why this time we decided to take in only the spiritual sights of Hindus. It seems like there are millions of churches in every city in the US so I don't bother with them unless they are really spectacular or historically relevant.

Anyway coming back to our exploration we had planned on visiting the Swami Narayan temple. Unfortunately for us we found the wrong address on google and landed up in the wrong place. This was a misfortune in disguise because right next door to the address we found was this magnificent Viet Namese Buddhist temple. This shrine with its towering milky white statue of Buddha, artificial lakes, rolling grassy lawns and gardens, held me spellbound even as I enjoyed myself capturing photographs of the location.

I was heartened to see the Ashoka Pillar right at the entrance of the temple and also the Dharma Ghanta (Bell of Justice) installed in a tower adjacent to the sanctum. This is one temple which is resplendent of the glory of Eastern religions and non-violent philosophy. I wish some of our Hindu temples would be as imposing. The temple was choc-a-bloc with pious Viet Namese listening to a discourse.

Sanctum of the temple

The Dharma Ghanta inside its tower

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